United States

CBP Arrests National Guardsman, Four Others in Alleged Human Smuggling in Otay Mesa

Border Patrol agents arrested a National Guardsman and four others in Otay Mesa Saturday for reported human smuggling.

Agents stopped a vehicle near Otay Mesa Boulevard and Alta Road at around 3:45 p.m.

Of the five men inside, two were U.S. citizens and three were undocumented, according to Customs and Border Protection agent Michael Scappechio.

The driver was later confirmed to be a California National Guard Reserve Soldier in the process of being discharged, according to Scappechio.

However, the San Diego Border Patrol Sector confirmed the driver was not associated with the California National Guard’s current border security mission, Operation Guardian Support, CBP said Sunday morning.

The driver currently has AWOL status, said CBP, but the circumstances of that status are unknown at this time.

The other U.S. citizen said he was friends with the National Guardsman. Scappechio said the three undocumented men were from Mexico.

Agents arrested all five men shortly after stopping the vehicle.

CBP referred felony smuggling charges for the two U.S. citizens.

The three undocumented men may face removal proceedings, CBP said.

No other information was available.

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